Being pregnant during the pandemic can be quite scary!
“Just when I was comfortable enough to share my great news with everyone, the pandemic began and I started to worry all over again.” -Crystal U., First Time Mom
We interviewed women from across the nation to hear about their experiences being pregnant and/or birthing during the pandemic, and to see what advice they have for families currently pregnant or trying to conceive.
They experienced lots of emotion
Mamas who have been #pregnantduringcovid or #pregnantwithcovid reported varied emotions, including joy, excitement, anxiousness, frustration, worry, fear, loneliness, and sadness, just to name a few.
Without a doubt, the fear of COVID, precautions required to stay healthy, and in some cases, the actions required to prevent the spread of the virus made their experiences different than originally planned or hoped for. However, all of the women we interviewed talked about their determination for keeping some sort of control over their experience. Many spoke of creative ways in which they were able to make at least some of their dreams come true.
One mama explained, “Being pregnant during a pandemic came with many mixed emotions. For me, having found out that I was pregnant the same weekend that the world essentially “shut down” brought both happiness and a slight feeling of being trapped.” -Karen P., Mom of 2
Another mama said, “Wearing masks to appointments, worries of having to give birth alone due to restrictions, and fear of being around friends and family due to their health risks and mine really took a toll on an already emotional rollercoaster of being a first time mom.” -Jessica M., First Time Mom
Another mama described her experience as “bitter sweet.” She said, “It was bitter because I felt like I was robbed of sharing this experience with family and friends. Big brother was not able to meet his sister in the hospital. There was no extended support system. There were feelings of isolation, and not to mention, the high level of anxiety with trying to keep everyone in the house healthy. It was sweet because I finally got to meet my baby, and despite everything going on in the world she was and is healthy. Since we were not allowing visitors, the situation also allowed for a little more intimacy because it was just me and my partner soaking up all the newborn highs.” -Jade H., Mom of 2
Being #pregnantduringcovid affected their partners too! Many partners shared the sentiments of this dad who said, “I felt the weight of the world, and felt useless that I couldn’t physically be there to comfort or support my wife during appointments.” -Calvin R., First Time Dad
They found ways to include their partners and family
With doctors offices not allowing support persons and many hospitals only allowing one support person, many mamas were forced to rely on technology for partner and family inclusion. Though it was better than nothing, this isolation was a real low for the families we spoke with.
One mama described her feelings as “sour.” She said, “Besides the concern of contracting COVID, attending appointments and viewing ultrasounds alone soured the normally sweet experience.” -Jen R., Mom of 2
Another mama we spoke with was deeply saddened by not being able to share her experience with her family the way she’d hoped for. She said, “Most of my doctors visits went from in person to phone, and only my husband was allowed in the delivery room.” -Crystal U., First Time Mom
Another mama interviewed said, “I could only FaceTime my partner for both checkups and sonograms. It was pretty depressing and robbed us of the experience of our first child together.” -Terri G., Mom of 5
They created some positive memories
Though many reported feelings of isolation, they also talked about their determination to create positive memories. They spoke of out-of-the-box gender reveals, glamorous maternity shoots and Zoom baby showers. These families pushed through their fears and sadness, and made at least some of their dreams a reality.
One mama expressed joy in being able to find ways to connect with her family. She said, “While I couldn’t have a traditional baby shower I was able to celebrate Baby Mayo virtually with my friends and family.” -Jessica M., First Time Mom
However, another mama spoke of her disappointment with having to have a Zoom baby shower, and her determination to take her maternity photos. She said, “COVID changed all of my plans, my dreams! But I was determined to get my maternity photos. I love taking pictures! The photographer was so sweet, she sanitized the studio and wore a mask.” -Crystal U., First Time Mom
They believe you can do this and so do we!
Those were a few examples of how mamas have worked to make the most out of unideal situations. All of the mamas interviewed birthed healthy babies and are enjoying motherhood. That said, they know firsthand how scary being pregnant during a pandemic can be and wanted to leave you with a few words of encouragement.
Jade H., mom of 2 says, “My advice is to pray and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It might look different than it did pre-COVID but you’d be surprised how much someone can do from a distance. Sending over a DoorDash meal helps out when you’re too tired to cook dinner and forgot to make order arrangements.”
…and, Jade’s partner Wayne recommends that if having a hospital birth, take your snacks and electronics. He says, “There’s nothing like having a little piece of home.”
Arica L., mom of 2 says, “Do your best to not stress! Exercise under your doctor’s orders, take walks, cook at home for healthier meals, and if you live with your spouse and/or other children, take advantage of the extra time to enjoy them before baby comes.”
Karen P., mom of 2 says, “Find happiness simply in the blessing of being pregnant. For me, that eventually became enough.”
…and Karen’s husband Herman says, “Encouragement I’d offer to any partners, currently pregnant or working towards getting pregnant, is to stay in sync.” Connect and be in tune with your partner and their feelings, needs, and wants.
Terri G., mom of 5 says, “Stay strong and know that it is all worth it when you get to finally hold your bundle of joy. Meanwhile, stay safe and encouraged. 🤍”
Crystal U., first time mom says, “Try not to worry so much like I did. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy the experience!”
Jessica M., first time mom says, “Find the silver lining in it all! Finding the things that bring you joy will help to bring peace in a time of uncertainty and ultimately happy mama = happy baby!”
Jen R., mom of 2 says, “Don’t go at it alone. Having a listening ear, talking with loved ones, or access to a good support system makes a world of difference to your emotional and physical well-being.”
… and, Jen’s husband Calvin encourages partners to “be flexible and pay attention. The changes that have taken place because of the state of the world are affecting your wife as well as yourself. And more change is sure to come. So be flexible and be attentive.”
Here at M.A.M.A., we echo the advice given and recommend you follow the CDC guidelines for staying safe during COVID. If you’re planning to birth at a birthing center or hospital stay informed of their COVID policies so you understand the protocols and rules regarding allowed support. We encourage you to check their policies now and closer to your due date as many institutions are frequently updating their policies. But, most importantly, we want to remind you of the strength within you and your power to have the pregnancy and birthing experience you want and deserve. Though the world may be scary right now, you are in control of you. You are beautiful! You are strong! You are capable! You’ve got this mama!
For more information on securing support during your pregnancy, check out our blog “What is a Doula and Why You Need One”.
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